Fuse Blu-ray Review
Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress is an anime
production released in 2012, which is based upon a classic Japanese
written by Kazuki Sakuraba. The film takes place in the Edo period of
is a new fantasy interpretation on this renowned story. Directed by
Miyaji (Xam'd: Lost Memories) the film
has a swiftly handled shift in the approach that was made to telling
This interpretation and retelling focuses upon the
character Hamaji, and begins with the introduction to this character.
She is a
14 year old girl who was brought up living around the mountainsides,
and who is
now staying by herself - and struggling to survive - following the
her grandfather. The story of the film opens with her hunting a white
is somehow an expert hunter but also has clear conflict over her role
killing the animals she hunts. Over the course of the story, Hamaji
with her older brother, who had moved away, and who has decided to get
involved in helping him hunt Fuse.
Fuse are mythological creatures that some (in this
feel are real. They are a blending of human beings and wolves. They are
believed to be able to suck the energy life-force out of humans, eating
souls, and using this energy to become stronger and bigger enemies to
is it possible there can be more to Fuse than folklore suggests? And
Fuse creatures even real? Hamaji meets a mysterious and kind young man
name is Shino who might hold a key to the answers she seeks.
Hamaji must decide what her role is in this wolf
(pardon the pun) and whether or not the Fuse are even real or if they
or bad. This becomes a big part of the
story as she travels across Edo in unison with her brother. She
meets and befriends a girl named Meido too. Things become more complex
finale is reached and a ultimate confrontation is made between Fuse and
who fear them.
The story is considered a classic to many but this
might not be the best way to start to approach it. The writing feels
and rushed and the mythology of the Fuse, despite it initially seeming
focal point of the film, was hardly explored here. The characters were
surprisingly flat and uninvolving. There was not a significant amount
character development and it makes the film a bit less successful than
have probably been.
The background artwork and setting illustrative
from the art director Shunichiro Yoshihara were notably impressive and
much accomplishment. These areas of
production were remarkable, worthwhile, and should be complimented.
the unfortunately dull character designs were hardly effective.
The quality of art for the completed film was much
than the pre-production sketches and early creations. The direction by
Miyaji also feels weak and unfocused. This film is an effort that
doesn't work as well as it could. The story will appeal to longtime
are looking for a new adaptation to enjoy but most will find it too
and uninspired to be a successful feature length story. Ultimately, Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress just
doesn't deliver and for that reason it's a missed opportunity as a
There are bursts of reasonable creativity but on the whole it just
to want to gel.
The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encode is quite strong with
colors, clean definition, and notable boost from the presentation
Presented in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
English subtitles are provided.
The Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation
immersive and memorable and probably one of the best elements of the
score is reasonably good quality too. Certainly, the dynamic
the sound mix is a high quality delight.
NIS America has packaged this deluxe premium
edition in a
handsome art-box with an artbook featuring character illustrations,
production art, short character descriptions, and an interview with the
director. These elements added up to a promising start of the extras
but it doesn't
extend beyond there with a making-of. This is still a impressive
release for an
anime production and it continues to show how high-quality and
NIS sets are from releasing series with such prestigious class.
Fuse: Memories of a Huntress is a
of a film with a poorly written storyline, weak characterization, and
inconsistent animation (the background art is brilliant, but the rest
leaves a lot of room for improvement). While the film might disappoint,
this NIS release doesn't. The packaging,
PQ/AQ, and art-book are excellent and show why NIS is a amazing anime
that continues to show much promise - even when some of their licenses
necessarily up to par for receiving such prestigious quality.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.